How mind mapping software can help you stay several steps ahead of the packOct 7th, 2013 | By Chuck Frey | Category: Tips & Techniques
Being successful today in any organization requires you to differentiate yourself, to separate yourself from the pack of people with similar backgrounds and career experience. To paraphrase the late Steve Jobs, you need to “think different.”
Mind mapping software can help you stand out and enjoy greater success. Here’s how:
1. Mind mapping software can help you think more deeply about new ideas and opportunities
It is an incredibly rich and flexible canvas upon which you can capture your ideas. Not only that, you can utilize it to explore them in detail, record any questions you must answer, knowledge and information you need to gather, stakeholders you need to get on board, and much more. It is a powerful tool for transmuting your ideas into tangible form, where they can be manipulated, expanded upon and evaluated.
2. Mind mapping software enables you to think through the implications of business decisions
It is a powerful tool for developing and working through future scenarios and the implications of multiple decision paths. Most business decisions today are not black-and-white, yes-or-no, on-or-off. They usually involve high percentages of of risk, uncertainty and ambiguity.
The widely-accepted practice of brainstorming and taking notes on flipchart sheets or in a Word document doesn’t help much, because it’s hard to connect the dots and see which potential decisions are the most advantageous and which may be problematic. Many business challenges today are systemic in nature; that means they contain a level of complexity and a set of interdependencies that just don’t lend themselves to conventional, linear analysis.
A mind map enables you to visualize potential future courses of action as “flowing” forth from a central point – where you are now. You can play “what if” and explore the implications of changing conditions quite easily, see connections and generate additional ideas and improvements via association. How cool is that?
3. Mind mapping software enables you to make your ideas more visible within the organization
Selling your ideas within your organization is never easy, but it’s even harder during times of great uncertainty, like those we face today. Many corporate cultures abhor new ideas like the human body fights infection. During tough times, the status quo and hunkering down for survival continue to be the orders of the day.
Your ideas will be subjected to deep questioning and criticism. They may involve a significant amount of risk, with an uncertain payoff. They may threaten certain people, because what you’re proposing may affect their operational areas or even their job.
Mind mapping software can help you sell your ideas in two key areas:
- Organizing your thinking and anticipating potential objections: In this case, you can create a mind map that lays out the key issues that your idea addresses, why it should be implemented now, who would implement it, investment and staffing required and how the company will benefit from it. You can then present your thinking using conventional means – but simply use the mind map to prepare your pitch thoroughly.
- Use it as the presentation medium: In this scenario, you not only use your software to organize your thinking, you present it in visual form. This is potentially more risky, because some senior-level executives may feel uncomfortable viewing information in a non-linear format. But it many casese it’s worth the risk, because it will bring a “wow” factor to your ideas and will differentiate you as someone who is a savvy strategic thinker and planner.
4. Mind mapping software can help you cultivate thought leadership
Thought leadership is all about thinking differently – about having a distinct vision about your organization, your customers, your industry or profession and the forces that are shaping it. You need to communicate a unique perspective, both internally and externally to people who can influence your career. I’m convinced that mind mapping is a powerful tool that can help you to develop deep, well-thought out positions on key business issues that matter to the people whom you’re trying to influence.
Mind mapping software is a powerful, flexible canvas for exploring your thinking and converting your insights into reports, blog posts, presentations and other forms of content that command attention and influence the thinking of your stakeholders. No other type of productivity software gives you this level of flexibility and creativity.
5. It helps you be organized for frequent communication with local and remote teams
To be an effective leader, you must communicate frequently and with great clarity. This is even more important today, as more teams have people who work remotely and require more attention to help them stay “connected” at both the project and cultural levels.
A mind map can help you to ensure that your messaging is consistent over time, and that it is aligned with your organization’s mission and goals. It can help you organize your communication and help you ensure that it is clear, inspiring and persuasive.
If you want to learn more about utilizing mind mapping software to accomplish these and other leadership tasks, I recommend you join the Mind Mapping Insider program. It contains a wealth of tutorials, interviews, mind map analyses, videos, templates and other resources designed to help you master your mind mapping software and achieve outstanding results with it.